Take a step back in time to enjoy the town’s historical landmarks, or simply take a stroll through one of its many peaceful parks. Add in a football match at Vitality Stadium, then a music concert at the International Centre, and you won’t be short of things to see at the many Bournemouth tourist attractions.
The 62-metre spire of St. Peter’s Church is a great landmark from which to start your sightseeing tour of Bournemouth. The Grade I listed building from 1879 is nestled in the heart of the town, just five minutes from our Central Bournemouth hotel. The gorgeous interior has beautiful stained glass windows and mosaics, and if it’s not too spooky, you can visit the graveyard to find the resting place of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
Wander Bournemouth’s streets to find many examples of Victorian architecture, from the house-turned-gallery Russell-Cotes Museum and the ornate roofs of Bournemouth’s shopping arcades, to the recently restored Boscombe Pier. An important historic monument is also the Bournemouth War Memorial, built in 1921 within the Central Gardens and commemorating the fallen soldiers of WWI. Two stone lions guard the memorial – one sleeps while the other roars.
St Peter's Church
A network of parks follow the River Bourne right through Bournemouth’s town centre, including the aptly named Upper Gardens, Central Gardens and Lower Gardens. Entrance to the parkland is just two minutes away from our Central Bournemouth hotel, and it makes a pleasant walk following the river all the way north to Coy Pond. Lower Gardens is often busy, with people chilling out in the sunshine. It’s also where you’ll find the tasty food vans of Street Food Corner, and the gardeners do a great job keeping the flowers tidy and colourful. With mini golf, plenty of food kiosks and pathways leading all the way down to Bournemouth Pier, it’s the place to be on a summer’s day if you want to avoid getting sand everywhere! For a larger green space, visit Queen’s Park – also home to the golf course of the same name – with a mixture of woodland and informal parkland.
The best route for a leisurely 15-minute stroll from our Boscombe hotel to Boscombe Pier takes you through the scenic Victorian Boscombe Chine Gardens. Stop to play a round of crazy golf or enjoy the children’s water play park, basketball courts and the Squirrel Café. Just down the road, there are also the Boscombe Cliff Gardens, with beautiful views out to sea. See if you can spot the wild goats that graze on the cliffs! The park’s a beautiful spot for dog walking, and the 23-acre site that it leads on to was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2007.
Journey a little out of town for more beautiful wildlife, with Stour Valley Nature Reserve to the north-west. A two-mile stretch of riverside footpaths, as well as meadows and woodland give you plenty of space to ramble, with the Kingfisher Barn Visitor Centre hosting activities to promote and preserve the area’s wildlife. Sit and enjoy a cuppa in the wildlife garden once you’ve finished skipping through the meadows!
The International Centre is the go-to place if you’re looking for the biggest names in music and comedy (as well as political conferences and events), with a star-studded line-up ranging from One Direction to the Liberal Democrat Party! Read our dedicated guide to Bournemouth International Centre for more.
Home to A.F.C. Bournemouth, Vitality Stadium (also known as Dean Court) is less than a 10-minute drive from our Premier Inn Boscombe hotel. The team have risen through the ranks of English football, conquering the tables after spending most of their history within tier three and now playing in the Premier League. The land on which the stadium stands was originally gifted to Boscombe F.C. in 1910, and early developments involved a 300-seat stand. The stands now seat over 11,300 fans, after a rebuild saw a full 90-degree rotation of the pitch.
The stadium has witnessed great successes from the side, with iconic moments including the Football League’s fastest-ever hat-trick in 2004 from Bournemouth’s James Hayter – a mere two minutes and 20 seconds into a 6–0 victory against Wrexham. It’s easy for fans to reach the stadium on match day. Both Pokesdown Station and Bournemouth Station offer multiple rail links and there’s dirt-cheap parking right outside the stadium if you arrive by car.